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I hate traveling. It's not something that just arrived as a result of recent events, it's a true deep-seated dislike of planes, trains and automobiles. I love exploring and going to new cities, but none of the fun is in getting there unless it's a roadtrip that has no time requirements or time limits. There's something awful about the panic that is produced many people trying to access a shared limited resource. It's the reason that everyone rushes to the gate when a flight is announced even though it may be a while until their ticket allows them to board.
I can't believe that I used to live in a grey place. The simple pleasure of sunshine really isn't that simple after all. It's amazing that it can elevate the most tedious day to something good. Southern California is my heaven. I remember that as a child I would spend hours looking out the window at the colours that the sunshine painted in the trees. (laughing) actually it's amazing that my response to joy was to sit still. Even after living in Los Angeles for four years I still look happily at the sky and give thanks every sunny morning.
So sleepy! It's 9 AM and I should already be productive, be doing something, anything, and I'm just too sleepy. I've already completed my morning rituals, paid the usual obeisance to my email accounts, cnn.com and the comics I read. I've eaten breakfast, the type of breakfast that's supposed to give you energy for the morning. I'm slowly realizing that I will have to self-medicate with caffeine. Mmmm coffee, the country's less advertised Prozac, giving the proletariat and aristocracy alike chemical aid in facing their day. I wonder if coffee could be considered a gateway drug for other coping pills.
Why is it that descriptions of despair and/or hate are so much easier to empathize with than happiness or love? Powerful joyous emotions often come out somehow as sappy statements that lose their effectiveness through their very efforts to enhance it. Apparently you have to be truly gifted to make people feel your joy, but somehow even the barely literate can impart their sorrow. So here's an odd train of thought - expressions of love seem to mean more when you're in love yourself. Since its easier to identify with sadness, are we all in a perpetual state of mild melancholy?
i always crack up when i see emails typed all in lower-case. i can't help it. it has nothing to do with content. it's just that when i was in college, i got a rude all-lower-caps email from someone in a subordinate position . it might have been a student advisee of mine, or maybe just a freshman. i don't even remember what he wrote, but it really pissed me off. and my boyfriend sprang to the computer at my howls of indignation, read the email and exclaimed ' what a chump, who does he think he is, ee cummings?'
Lots of college memories lately, last night I actually ran in to one of my student advisees. He must have just graduated. I remembered him, but he didn't remember me. I must have this incredible drive to connect with people because I'm always walking up to people I once knew if I see them, even if we didn't have much in common. It's interesting how people deal with it. Some are genuinely pleased to find that I recognized them. Others, like last night, look a little embarrassed. Is that because of me, or because they remember who they were then?
Why is it so damn hard to make people take some initiative? (This is a rant. If you don't want to hear me bitch, then skip this entry.) I just returned from a meeting that I helped organize. Apparently when the buck no longer stops with them, people lose all sense of personal responsibility. By the end I half expected to have someone ask me how to brush their teeth, or to deliver their breakfasts to them. As long as there is someone else taking charge, people seem to devolve to their most selfish behavior. So much for intrinsic integrity.
Ugh, I'm sick. I suppose this doesn't make me feel any better about the meeting I referred to yesterday, since that's where I got sick. Runny nose, scratchy throat, high temperature, mmmmm, attractive. I want to crawl into a hole and sleep for years and instead I'm back in the lab. The only good thing is that I have a sexy husky voice to answer the phone with. Fairly ironic, I sound like a siren and must look like a nightmare. Maybe I even look fine and my stuffy clumsy headachey-ness is something only I detect. I can only hope.
I have no excuses left. I'm done with my organizing role, I'm sick but not dying, I've done all the admin work. I am going to have to run some experiments today. I'm a big whiny baby though. It's hard. And frustrating. And some of my materials haven't been delivered yet. You know, I love my job. But for some reason I'm finding it hard to get going. I suppose I shouldn't criticize other's lack of initiative since I have so little of my own today. I love telling people I'm a scientist, but that's only true if I graduate.
Perhaps I am getting better (less sick). I still feel foggy, but I actually bothered to choose a shirt today from the clean laundry as opposed to just pulling something out of the 'comfort clothes for when I feel like shite' drawer. I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing. Is it because I feel better, so I want to look better for myself, or is it that I feel better so now I can care again about what everyone else thinks about me? Probably the former, the people whose opinions I care about probably won't even see me today.
Last night I had a tough time figuring out my role at dinner. Three guy friends and me, bbq, lots of Tim Allen-style barking. I was keeping up well with the pack 'til they started whining about what girl(friends) are like. My relationship is awesome, it's exactly what they'd say they wanted. But they'll never date girls like me and I don't think they wanted to hear things like that I never drag Win shopping unless he wants to go, and that I think arcades and mini-golf places are legit date spots. I suspect I was spoiling the male-bonding vibe.
My mother is absolutely beautiful. The kind of beautiful that makes people stop her on the street, even when she's past the age where that's supposed to happen. Her age should be obvious, she doesn't dye her hair, so it's got plenty of grey. And yet people are irresistibly drawn to her despite the fact that they haven't even talked to her, haven't discovered what a pleasure she is to converse with, which is what I love far more than her looks. Everyone thinks that their mothers are beautiful when they're young. I never had to give up that belief.
There are moments of clarity, moments where suddenly a purpose becomes apparent, and perhaps just the pure truth of that purpose also conveys the will to carry it out. Moments where the lines of what you want, what you need and what you think are clean and beautiful. Brief glimpses of how it is supposed to be, and more importantly, how you will make it happen, and how it is therefore possible. They are more numerous when you are getting it right, but more precious when you think you aren't. And they tether you to a faith in your existence.
I'm not enjoying this today. I'm tired and everything looks sort of red. Total exhaustion. I can barely keep my poor bruised fingers on the keyboard. No, I wasn't in a fight, I just played a lot of hockey today. (Field hockey. ) And now despite my lovely hot bath, my hands are trembling. So are my legs, my lower back, my arms - you get the picture. I loved every minute of it, and I'll probably be smiling tomorrow as I scream in pain with every movement, but right now all I want to do is go to sleep.
They have changed the lights in our building. It had always been lit by fluorescents, but they were sort of a kind, yellowish color. The new lights are hard cold icy bluish white, and frankly, it's creeping me out. I suppose the brighter light will be better for my eyes, but it is worse for my psyche. I keep the blinds open, and I have to go outside periodically to make myself feel better. As I type this, the sun is starting to burn through the morning fog, so perhaps I'll go take a walk now to get my coffee.
Kissing is wildly underrated, possibly because the word encompasses too many types. There's the 'omigod, I haven't seen you in so long!' type, or the spontaneous type you bestow on someone who just did something fantastic or funny or sweet, or just 'cause you are happy. These are friend/greeting kisses. And they're stealing the glory from the absolutely sinful sensual better than sex kind. The kind where if you're just a spectator you feel like you've walked into someone's bedroom. The kind that leaves your lips bruised and your hands trembling and your mind with nothing in it but fireworks.
Best fortune cookie fortune ever - 'your mind is filled with new ideas. make use of them.' It's sitting taped above my monitor. It's perfect, primarily because it isn't just a warm 'n' fuzzy observation, but a challenge. Okay, you're great, now do something the fuck about it. People talk all the time about realizing their full potential. But the goal that they're striving for is not something that should be prompted by soft words or gentle encouragement or self help mantras. It should be big and strong, it should scream and burn and explode outwards, spectacular in success or failure.
Yay trashy magazines! And bad TV shows (okay, maybe not Jerry Springer bad, maybe just Temptation Island bad). And Twinkies. Definitely and Twinkies. See, here's the thing - sometimes you just have to enjoy these things. Sometimes wine coolers are more appropriate than champagne. I KNOW how to use the right fork, and how to appreciate good jazz and plays by Sophocles or Stoppard. But I can choose to read pulp novels as well. There's a tremendous amount of pleasure in indulging oneself, and I've come to resent the idea that an indulgence must fall into the class of things elite.
I do not deal well with rejection. I'm extremely competitive and it ticks me off to not be at the top of the class. I've had two papers rejected in the past month and I'm getting cranky now. This is totally par for the course mind you, I sent them to journals that are at the top of the field and extremely hard to get in to. I'm just not used to failing though. In fact, I'm surprised at how calm I sound now, you should have seen the hysterics I had in college when I got my first C.
The water is dirty with birds. That was the sentence my boyfriend uttered as we tromped along the path up at the Sutro Baths. And I laughed, and I made fun of him a little, but it was true. I don’t know why it’s impossible for the sun to shine when I take him somewhere special, but today was no exception. Fortunately, the view was still spectacular, and the misty patches of light along the water were almost more interesting than blatant sunlight might have been. And the clam chowder we ate later tasted delicious after being in the cold.
I have met several eloquent very "together" male college freshmen this weekend. I met them while traveling, and I'm impressed. I'm sure that I was perhaps more arrogant, but definitely less socially suave when I was a freshman. These guys are charming and funny and driven. On the one hand, I'm feeling a little old since I fit into my skin best in my college years and it's a bit shocking to realize that I'm now completely officially past them. On the other, I can't believe that these 18 year olds are so much more focused than I am now.
I realize that you have to start somewhere. There must be chosen assumptions, 'facts' that you take for granted. The problem is that as you go through life, these accumulate and stiffen, pillars holding up the platform on which your thoughts perch. My fear is that I couldn't change this structure if I ever found I needed to. My whole world could come crashing down with the upturning of one of these basic tenets that I have held as truth. While I pride myself on an open mind, I have to now consider that perhaps it is a dangerous thing.
A quiet light crept across the pillow, and she finally turned and blinked once, lazily, recognizing the morning and ignoring it. Instead she slid her fingers along the side of the bed, moving from cotton sheets to down comforter and across the soft fur of a teddy bear. Just being there was pleasure in itself, a warm place to rest. Slowly she stretched, her head still turned into the pillow, eyes closed. She would stay here for a while and rest and let the rhythm of her breath and the affectionate pressure of the bedclothes lull her back to sleep.
For M- "I debated keeping my mouth shut, but I'm going to give you some advice anyway because, despite my better judgement, I sort of like you. You broadcast incredible arrogance. Generally I'm for that, especially since it might be realistically based on your intelligence. But along with your arrogance comes a dismissive attitude, which is pissing me off. We are all as smart as you are. And you will never survive in this field with its brittle egos if you keep brushing people off with the implicit assumption that they are not worth your time. Back the fuck down."
The “I have 10 minutes and it’s been a frustrating day already” entry. The problem with my work is that I can spend an entire day working and come up with absolutely nothing. These days aren’t isolated, they happen all the time. I really need to accomplish something. I’m incredibly irritated at myself right now, and its not even my fault. Science is better than religion, self flagellation is built right in, seamlessly with the culture. Brilliant people reduced to crying in their beers about their own worthlessness in the face of a bigger truth that refuses to reveal itself.
The price you pay for becoming increasingly busy is that suddenly your friendships become simply another job to maintain. Phone calls that you promised to make are the first to go. Then there are the lunch dates that you don't confirm. Then, well, then you stop trying. That party that you were going to attend? You don't. It's not that you work, you just don't go. You watch TV instead. Because TV requires nothing of you. It's passive and easy and you can't ruin your relationship with it when you say dumb things 'cause you're so tired from being busy.
I have to stop regretting things. I'm a fairly perceptive person, even when I'm in a cranky unreasonable mood I know I'm in a cranky unreasonable mood. I'm just too obnoxious to keep it to myself but I would if someone called me on it. Sadly, no one does, and I later look back on my childishness and feel regret and sadness that I acted so poorly. But that's useless. Either I have to stop behaving that way, which is do-able though hard, or I have to just accept that sometimes I'm not a nice person, and get over it.
I would like to speak to the 5 people that I just spent my weekend with. (This means there will be references that the general public won't understand.) Thank you. Thank you for being polite when I was being childish, and for coming out and playing such a fantastic game with me. For letting me whine to you and for laughing at my jokes. I am always in awe of your brilliance and intuition and this would be no fun at all if you all didn't have those beautiful moments of insight that let us finish each clue. Thank you.
Apple pie for breakfast. How wonderful was that. It would have been the best part of my morning normally. But of course, waking up on his shoulder easily outshone even the fact that I could then walk over and cut a slice of the apple pie that he had made some time last night after I had fell asleep in his arms. I didn't even wake up while he chopped and sliced and mixed and baked, but I still shared in the end result. And I was spared hunger pangs as I missed him already for the entire flight home.
Tomorrow's words are for Halloween, so I'll wrap up a bit today. I wanted to express myself in a forum where I was part of a community and I have had a great time doing this. I certainly enjoyed the voices of others. But my opinion is that guidelines can impose a structure not just on the expression of thought, but of the thought itself. I fear that I am losing aspects of my ideas through these boundaries of expression. My world is built with defined protocols, I suspect I need a messier medium with which to indulge my creativity.
And it shatters and it splinters and it spins into the winter of your discontent, now I'm spent, and you hold me.
An indulgence in public of the things you keep private. Disguises that perhaps reveal more than you intended them to. Greed and childishness and the part of you that you tucked away because sometimes it scared even you a little.
Don't place faith in human beings, human beings or, butterfly wings.
Acceptance of every shape and form. A celebration of the understanding that no one is so shallow as to only have sunny impulses. An invitation to misbehave.
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